Being the parent of a teenager can sometimes feel like talking to a BRICK WALL. Sometimes you feel like you just need to wave a hand in front of their face to get their attention.
But then you notice they seem to operate fine around other people. Which makes you wonder, Is it just me??
Yes. And no.
Yes, your teen’s brain is singling your voice out. All of a sudden the influence and wisdom you so clearly had in their earlier years is waning.
And no, it isn’t just you; every parent of teenagers goes through this. Ask any seasoned parent how it felt when they started noticing the advice and insights that used to be received a bit more warmly were falling flat. You aren’t alone.
That may not, however, make you feel much better. When you are in the midst of one of these phases, it can be frustrating. Not to mention terrifying.
If your daughter or son seems to have stopped listening to you, who are they listening to? How can you make sure the voices they’re hearing are the right ones, and that they’re communicating the right messages?
Research tells us the four main influencers in a teenager’s life are their parents, their peers, their community, and society. So, no need to panic! Parents still make the list. It isn’t that a parent’s influence over their teenager is disappearing; it’s that the voices of our teenager’s peers are becoming louder. So keep talking. But it’s obvious a parent’s voice is joined by a host of others. And that’s why it’s important we do all we can to make sure the voices our students are hearing are the right ones.
In fact, we believe when it comes to your teenagers, it isn’t that they need to hear a new message at all. They just need to hear a new voice saying the same things you’ve been saying all along. And we think the more foundational the message, the better.
In Matthew 22:35-40, Jesus tells those listening about the Great Commandment—the call to love God and love others like we love ourselves. Everything hinges on this, Jesus said. And we agree with Jesus. We believe when a student learns what that means for them right now, they are learning the fundamentals of their faith, but also how they were wired to live.
We know a lot is on the line during these years. We know you care, maybe now more than ever before, about your words getting through. Which is why we want you to know you aren’t alone. And why we want to partner with you to communicate to your kids the messages they need to hear.
Relevant Youth is a high impact and fun environment for middle and senior high students that meets on Wednesdays at 6:45pm.